Sacred Monkey Forest
I absolutely love all animals. I may be slightly scared of monkey's now because of what happened at the Batu Caves but I still love seeing them. While planning my trip to Bali, the Sacred Monkey Forest was the first thing I wanted to do. The Sacred Monkey Forest is located in Ubud, depending on where you stay in Ubud it is a walkable distance. There is a fee of 40.000 IDR ($4) to visit the forest. The fee goes to maintenance and conservation. Please make sure to follow the rules when you are visiting the forest! I spent a good 2 hrs here but I could have easily stayed longer but it looked like it was going to rain.
The monkey's that live in the forest are called the Macaque and are about 600 monkey's living here. These monkey's can very very playful and silly but you need to be careful around the babies or else you will get the mother or father angry (which I witnessed).
There are three temples in the Monkey Forest. The temples are prohibited for tourists because they are sacred and only for those who are going to pray and are wearing the appropriate Balinese dress. The one pictured below is the main temple, Pura Dalem Agung.
These are some pictures of the temple that I took from the gate.
Right outside the temple was this lil cutie. He's holding a flower and starring at me like he wants me to have it.
The monkey forest is about 27 acres large! There are so many pathways to go to with monkeys everywhere. My favourites were the babies, they are so small and adorable but do not go too close to them. There is staff there who will advise you not to get close because you could provoke it's parents to attack you. Be very careful with your valuable, these little rascals will steal anything they can get their hands on. I saw one steal something from a 3 year old! Buying bananas for the monkeys will get the to climb all over you. If you do not want that to happen you should not buy any bananas.
The Holy Spring is located near the entrance of the forest. You have to take a lot of stairs down to an area where you will see a temple.
This area is really pretty. There is a small pond with Koi and sculptures as well all hanging tree vines everywhere.
These trees were really cool. Reminded me of somewhere Tarzan would live.
Make sure to follow the little river. It leads to a dead end but it is very picturesque.
These Komodo Dragons are right by stairs headed towards the dead end with spring and mini waterfall. The Komodo Dragons are placed here to help guard the springs.
I actually came across a cemetery. I was not expecting to see that. I didn't take any pictures because it seemed disrespectful. Sometimes I hate going to these type of places because of the tourists. There were many times when people would scream and make fast movements. This causes the monkey's to get scared which makes them unpredictable. If you do not want the monkey's near you it's best to either not come or be perceptive about where they are and what you are bringing with you.
I wish I had bought bananas so I could get a picture with a monkey on my lap or head. There's always next time though!
When I was walking back to my hostel I was stopped by a guy selling tickets to see a traditional Balinese dance. This was obviously on my list and was something I didn't know where to find. I paid 75.000 IDR ($7.50) for my ticket. I got to Taman Sari Temple, where the dance took place, early so I could get a good seat (I was in the first row).
The Dance was beautiful. There were dances with the men, women little girls and even a fire dance. It's not like anything I've ever seen before. There was lots of chanting, singing and dancing.
I loved what the women were wearing. The crown on their heads were so pretty and their clothing was very colourful.
According to UNESCO there are 3 different genres of traditional Balinese dance; Wali (sacred dance), Bebali (semi sacred) and Balih-Balihan (entertainment dance). Since the other two dances are sacred, I saw the Balih Balihan dance.
The dance with the little girls is called Legong Kraton. Apparently this dance is supposed to be done by pre-pubescent girls only.
This dance is called Barong Ket. This dance represents a fight between mythical creatures. If you are sitting in the front row during this dance be very vigilant!!! In the center of the room coconut shells are piled up and lit on fire and a man will dance around it and kick them around the room. They are EXTREMELY HOT!
I was almost burned by one of these hot coconuts and several of the people beside me did not seem too happy about the coconuts being kicked at our feet. He danced around until he put out the coconuts in the center. This was my least favourite part of the dance!
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